Megyn Kelly’s GOP town hall debate on Wednesday night did just fine in the ratings even without Donald Trump.
The two-hour Fox News special featuring Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson and John Kasich pulled in 2.7 million viewers overall and 565,000 viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic.
CNN averaged 874,000 viewers in the same time period, while MSNBC managed 1.2 million viewers. Kelly even managed to best Bill O’Reilly in the key demo, with “The O’Reilly Factor” pulling in 547,000 viewers. However, O’Reilly managed to draw in 3.3 million viewers overall.
Trump’s campaign told TheWrap via email earlier this week that the billionaire business mogul was simply all booked up.
“The campaign has a previous engagement in Virginia and then New York, which could not be rescheduled,” a campaign spokesperson said. “Given this was just proposed at the last minute it was not possible to change our plans in order to attend. Mr. Trump looks forward to participating in the next FOX News debate.”
Trump skipped FNC’s GOP debate in January citing Kelly, one of the moderators, as the reason for his absence.
“I have zero respect for Megyn Kelly. I don’t think she’s very good at what she does. She’s highly overrated,” Trump said at the time.
The January Trump-less debate on Fox News drew 12.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen live-plus-same day numbers, making it the second-lowest-rated Republican debate.